Windows 8 Tablets, Ultrabooks: Samsung Wins Seton Hall Deal
Seton Hall University is standardizing on Samsung Windows 8 tablets and Ultrabooks for students. Those Windows 8 devices will link to Microsoft Office 365 for education, the cloud service alternative to Google Apps. Why did Seton Hall choose Windows 8 tablets over Apple iPads, in particular? The simple answer is content creation. For Microsoft, it sounds like a huge Windows 8 mobile win. But maybe the biggest winner here is Samsung — which is rapidly emerging as a hardware giant you can’t ignore. Here’s why.
First, the official news: Incoming freshman and returning juniors will receive Samsung Series 7 tablets or Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks running Windows 8, Seton Hall confirmed. Seton Hall’s Windows 8 mobile device footprint will grow from 1,200 students to nearly 2,500 students this fall. That’s impressive, considering Windows 8 won’t officially ship until Oct. 26.
Without mentioning Apple’s iPad by name, Seton Hall CIO Stephen Landry said the university prefers tablets that truly support content creation — one of Microsoft’s key selling points in the Windows 8 vs. iPad/iOS war.
Landry said in a prepared statement:
“From students’ perspectives, Windows 8 delivers an environment that allows them to be as productive as possible. They want integration of their tablet experience with their desktop experience, and products like Microsoft Office 365 for education help make that possible. Other devices out there have the form factor and battery life, but miss the mark on offering efficient content creation and consumption.”
Seton Hall also is rolling out the Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia 900 to students. Yup, that’s a bit of a head-scratcher since current Lumia devices don’t have an upgrade path to Windows Phone 8.
But the bigger story here involves two news hooks:
- First, Samsung seems to be everywhere in the hardware market — throwing around its weight with Android-based Galaxy tablets and smart phones, and now scoring Windows 8 tablet and Ultrabook wins with Microsoft. The VAR Guy is impressed.
- Second, Seton Hall affirms Microsoft’s ability to fulfill its Windows and Office 365 vision — delivering mobile and cloud services across smart phones, tablets and notebooks.
Here again, The VAR Guy is impressed. But he also has a healthy dose of skepticism. Microsoft has a habit of giving away new technology. When Windows 95 launched more than 17 years ago, Microsoft gave Ford Motor Company roughly 5,000 free licenses for the new desktop operating system.
Is Microsoft using similar tactics to inspire Seton Hall’s Windows 8 tablet and ultrabook deployments? The VAR Guy is walking the halls and searching for answers…